Vigil in Schenectady calls for building bridges between community and police, pedestrian safety goal of stepped-up 787 traffic enforcement, when a hawk flies into your house

Police/community relationships

+ People gathered at a Schenectady church Monday for a vigil in response to the deaths of Philando Castile near Minneapolis, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and five police officers in Dallas. Said Angelica Morris, exec director of the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission: "This is not about cops versus blacks or blacks against cops ... This is all about us as a race of people, people of faith. It's not about building walls to block a group of people. It's about destroying barriers and walls, and building bridges." A Schenectady police detective sergeant said recent events had drained him of energy and hope, but the optimism on display reinvigorated him. [TWCN] [Daily Gazette] [TU]

+ After quotes in a Times Union story by an Albany police officer during a program with teens on Friday about how to deal with police -- "If you get all cocky and give me attitude, I am going to write you up for every possible ticket in the book ... And if you continue to argue and disobey my orders and fight, fight, fight, you could lose your life." -- prompted criticism of the message and tone, Albany police chief Brendan Cox posted released an open letter about the program and the comments. [TU] [WAMC] [APD FB]

Special prosecutor for Brooklyn shooting by off-duty police officer
Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order that allows state attorney general Eric Schneiderman to investigate the shooting death of a Brooklyn man on July 4 by an off-duty NYPD officer. [NYT]

Pedestrian safety

+ Officials say law enforcement agencies will be stepping up traffic enforcement along 787 in Cohoes for the next week as part of a campaign to make stretch of road safer for pedestrians. (The recent focus on the issue was prompted by the death of teen crossing the road last month.) Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple framed the campaign as an effort to educate drivers. And Cohoes mayor Shawn Morse says he's still pushing for the state to pay for turning the road into a boulevard. [WNYT] [Troy Record] [TWCN]

+ The state Department of Transportation says new LED lighting along a stretch of Central Ave near Wolf Road where there have been multiple crashes involving pedestrians will be brighter and should provide better visibility for people crossing the road. [TU]

Shrinking the Albany County Legislature
The renewed push to reduce the size of the Albany County Legislature has prompted concerns about what effect a potential reduction could have the county's majority minority districts. [TU]

Fireworks and taxis
The Schenectady City Council is looking at cracking down on illegal fireworks and potential changes to the city's taxi code. [Daily Gazette]

The Upstate economy
After the report of the anemic results of the state's Start-Up NY program, a look at the decades-long challenge of stabilizing and growing the upstate economy. [NYSNYS/Troy Record]

Bank branches closing
The Key Bank acquisition of First Niagara will result in in the closure of 30 branches around the Capital Region. [Biz Review]

Pledges
Chris Churchill on state Senate candidate Sara Niccoli's decision to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance because she's a Quaker. [TU+]

Hannah Sames
Hannah Sames -- the Clifton Park 12 year old whose family has rallied and raised money for a treatment for her rare genetic disorder under the banner Hannah's Hope -- will be heading to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland for an experimental gene therapy treatment. [WNYT]

"You look and you're like, 'Oh my God, what is this,'"
From the Times Union: "Hawk is unwelcome visitor in Rotterdam home." [TU]

Stuff going on today

A Night with Janis Joplin
Capital Rep opens its production of A Night with Janis Joplin (it was in previews this past weekend). Blurbage: "A Night with Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences - trailblazers like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith - who inspired one of Rock 'n' Roll's greatest legends." Tuesday-Sunday various times - $25 and up

Stories
The Front Parlor storytelling series will be at The Hangar in Troy. This month's theme is "Abby's Birthday/Fashoro-Lublin Goodbye Party" (it's a farewell for organizer Abby Lublin). After storytelling DJ Trumastr will be spinning music for a dance party. Tuesday 7:30 pm -- free admission

NYS Writers Institute
The NYS Summer Writers Institute continues it series of public author readings at Skidmore. On Tuesday: poet Frank Bidart (National Book Critics Circle Award for Metaphysical Dog) and novelist Mary Gordon (The Shadow Man, Final Payments, The Stories of MG). Tuesday 8 pm, Palamountain Hall -- free

Music: Disturbed at SPAC
With: Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge, St. Ansonia. 6:30 pm -- $29.95 and up

Music: Lacey Sturm at The Hollow
Formerly of Flyleaf. 9 pm -- $15 ahead / $20 day of

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Recent Comments

I've found that anecdotes from neighbors, friends, or internet "strangers" can only take you so far. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you get out there and visit these schools during the school year, during the school day to get a feel for things. In the last few months, my wife and I have made a series of visits to our local elementary, middle + high-school. During those visits, we had the chance to talk to multiple teachers and see the kids "in action". It was very VERY telling in a lot of ways - both good and bad.

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